Our goal at ESF is to keep at least 100 momma cows in the herd at any given time. Due to a high culling rate the first two years we have found ourselves with only 77 cows at the moment. I will say that the quality of our cows has improved tremendously over the last two years. Here are a few pictures of the girls.
As you can see we have a very commercial herd of cows. We are working with Genetics Plus to AI breed our cows this spring. We are breeding AI to help both shorten our calving window and increase the genetic merit of our herd.
This year, instead of buying replacement cows, we have decided to develop heifers to get our numbers back up to 100 head. We had 21 heifers that we retained from our 2014 calf crop and we purchased another 41 heifers that matched them. This group of females are mostly black/BWF. Here they are:
We have sorted and culled a few of the heifers that we didn't want to keep because of structure, frame score, and disposition. Now we have a quality group of 48 heifers to develop and breed for next year. The girls are really growing well and we have had little to no sickness with this group of calves.
Here they are racing us to the barn at feeding time.
Luckily we did beat them to the barn and managed to get the gate shut so that we could put the feed out without them being in the way. I tell ya, once those girls learn what a feed bucket is, you better not rattle one unless you mean business.
Here is a link to a YouTube video of the heifers coming in to eat. I apologize, the first few seconds are shaky as I am recording and opening the gate at the same time. Enjoy.